Jump in a discussion I had with Lynn Thomas about how MLM has changed and what to do about it to stay on top…
HOW MLM HAS CHANGED
The MLM model has undoubtedly changed over time.
I talked about this in an interview I did with Lynn Thomas from Create Your Dream Life.
Lynn Thomas is awesome.
If you don’t know, interviewsteve.com is how you can jump on my calendar. It’s pretty full. I’ll try and figure out a way to open it up a little bit.
Lynn asked me some cool questions that I haven’t really been asked that frequently.
In the episode, we were able to dive a little more deeply into how MLM has changed and shifted in the last 10 years.
The Internet became publicly available in 1991.
A lot of what is being done now in the MLM space are tactics that were developed before the Internet was around or publicly available.
A lot of MLM companies tend to move forward as if that’s not a reality… Which I frankly think is STUPID.
I chat with Lynn about my approach to MLM and why it’s so different and so unique… And why this has been such a big buzz.
Whole MLMs have been reaching out, asking us to build funnels for them!
I’ve been able to take the MLM model and flip it on its head. Rather than me going out and talking to all these people to deliver a message, I can automate the message!
I can track it because it’s the same message every time.
That means I can make tweaks and adjustments and target people who are likely to want to:
- Be in my downline
- Buy whatever my team is selling
That’s a big, big deal, and that’s why it’s been such a disruptive thing.
HOW TO STAY ON TOP IN MLM
We have a book that we’re writing about this. There are three levers you can go turn in your MLM business.
You don’t own anything in MLM.
You don’t own anything. What is it that you can create that you do own? So you can out leverage the game?
This is super blue ocean stuff right now, which is exciting.
Lynn: Steve, how did you get started? Where did you start in this journey? And why did you start Secret MLM Hacks?
Steve: Why did I start Secret MLM Hacks? Well the first time I tried to get in MLM, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, I was in college. We had hardly any money and had just found out that we were expecting our first kid, which is very exciting.
I wanted to make a little bit of extra cash in college to pay some of those expenses. One of my buddies called me and said, “Hey, I don’t know what this guy’s talking about but he’s going to help us make a lot of money. Can I three way him in?”
I was totally new and I had no idea what that meant or that I was on a classic MLM pitch.
So I said, “Sure, dude. Sounds good.” He calls and I literally said, “Is this one of those pyramid schemes?”
I was the worst buyer ever.
He goes, “No, no, no, it’s not, No, no, no.”
And I was like, “Why do I need to pay money to get started selling things for you? That doesn’t make any sense.”
I was the worst. When I got off the phone my buddy called me right back and he goes, “Come on, you would be great at this. Come on, man.”
And I was like, “No.”
REALIZING HOW MLM HAS CHANGED
After some resistance I said, “Sure. Well, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to go both feet in and I’m going to run as hard as I can.”
So I went and I met with a guy in my upline. I don’t even know what it was called… I was so green to the MLM network marketing, direct sales space.
And I went and drove to go meet him. When I pulled up it was this like, super old, warehouse looking thing. It was kind of sketchy.
I walked in and there was this table in the center, and nothing else was in this big massive room. It’s like the out of a scene from Hollywood.
It was dark with a single light hanging over the table. I sat down, and he goes, “Well, hey, you want to be successful? Right?”
I said, “Well, yeah.”
And he goes, “Well, you gotta do what everyone else does when they’re successful. Let’s take out your phone. Are you willing to do that?”
I said, “Sure”.
“Take your phone out. Let’s walk through your contacts and see who would be good.”
And I was like, that makes sense. We made a huge list of people. Right there, we started calling people. I was not prepared for that.
If that’s your thing, good on you. But for me that was weird.
I still have relationships that have been soured to this day because of that.
MLM IS BROKEN BUT I KEPT GOING
But I was not willing to give up. I went and started walking down Main Street, literally recruiting people right off the street. People in businesses, and I was just hustling.
I’d worked super hard for the first four or five weeks and I recruited 13 people.
And I was like, “This is awesome.” I started doing the thing that they all do…
… “If those 13 get 13 and if they get 13 each, the next problem I have to solve as what island will I buy!”
Then none of them did anything.
I’d counting the chips before I have them and none of them did anything… So I stopped doing anything in MLM.
About a year later I realized that the problem wasn’t, does MLM work?
The problem was that I was approaching it with very outdated tactics.
There are people out there who legitimately wanted to find a good opportunity.
I started learning how to attract the good people.
In the past I was looking across the street and being like, “Oh, it’s Mr. Johnson. He really could use this opportunity right now, he needs this opportunity.”
I realized anytime I have to say that about somebody, they are the wrong person to recruit. They’re not learners or business builders.
I started getting better and better at that whole system and automating it on the internet, using ClickFunnels.
To this day, still, we get about two, three, sometimes four people a day asking to draw my down-line who I’ve never met.
We cut half of them out easily right off the get go and find those who are truly excited to build it.
That’s what we’ve been doing and Secret of MLM Hacks is just the program that teaches that.
HOW MLM HAS CHANGED THE OFFER
Lynn: Yeah, it’s an awesome thing that you’ve built. The thing that I’m struggling with and that the people that I’ve interviewed are struggling with is THE OFFER.
Can you explain a little bit about offer creation?
Steve: The way I realized this was kind of backwards and weird.
I was knocking doors as a door to door salesman. We were driving out to one of our areas, and I was in a bad mood. I was having the grumpies, sorry.
I remember looking up at these billboards, and I had this phrase come to my head.
And I was like, man, I’m getting up every day trying to sell things to people who are not planning on spending money.
But everybody calling these billboards are calling asking to be sold.
It was the first time in my life I’ve ever considered that.
There was already this momentum going around sales, and I needed to learn how to capture it.
I was selling pest control at the time and I put up these ads on classified sites for pest control.
I didn’t realize that was totally illegal because you’re supposed to put all these credentials and stuff up.
My phone started blowing up! People are like, “I’ve got ants in my pants” or whatever. There’s people begging for the service rather than me selling them on the service.
I couldn’t knock any more doors because there’s a better way. So I started approaching MLM differently.
HOW TO STAY ON TOP WITH YOUR OFFER
When it comes to offers, people want what you’ve got.
You have to realize that anytime we sell a product, it is solving a problem. It’s easier to sell it if they really do have a problem. You don’t have to create the problem then sell them the solution.
Let’s say I’m selling Trident gum. Anytime we sell a product, we solve a problem but we also create problems that were not there before we bought.
This is where the offer, in any business not just MLM, comes around.
I call these follow up problems.
If the opportunity presents itself to be an Olympic skier… Someone offered it to me and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I could be in the Olympics!”
I’ve got to solve a lot of problems that were never there before.
- What skis will I wear?
- Who’s my coach going to be now?
- What’s my eating like?
- Who am I going to hang out with?
- What’s my sleep schedule?
- What mountains am I going to train on?
All the things that were never there until that opportunity presented itself.
That is the exact same thing and where the opportunity lies in MLM when you realize that.
As soon as I sell my gum to somebody, or whatever your product is, what are the follow up problems and issues that are there now that they bought from you?
These are called follow up problems.
- Maybe I don’t like the flavor.
- Maybe there’s certain things that you eat or drink with or after it.
Lynn: Or maybe there’s an aftertaste…
Steve: Yeah, maybe there’s an aftertaste. Maybe your mouth might get a little dry.
MLM IS BROKEN BECAUSE IT DOESN’T DEAL WITH FOLLOW UP PROBLEMS
If you don’t know what the follow up problems are, go to anybody who’s ever bought your product ever and say, “Hey, what do you wish was a little bit different with this product?”
Shut up and take out a piece of paper.
This is when the market starts guiding the offer that they want from you.
This is very key and it’s one of the major reasons why I love MLM so much.
You don’t have to make this initial product to get those questions out, it’s already made for you.
I go out and I share it with people and I say, “Hey, here’s this thing. What are the issues you have?”
And I start writing and writing and writing and writing. Then I look for the top two or three most commonly said things.
The magic is here.
I create a product to solve that follow up problem that the majority seem to be having…
And I give it away for FREE with this product when they buy it through me.
Now I’ve out valued everybody my upline… Everyone in my downline and I am the most attractive person to come buy through.
My upline is my competition. My down-line is my competition.
WHAT IS SECRET MLM HACKS FOR?
Lynn: So is Secret MLM Hacks a thing that is attracting people to you? And then eventually, they ask to join you?
Lynn: Not all the time?
Steve: Well, I don’t ever tell anyone what I’m in. I kept it very third party.
Secret MLM Hacks is meant to educate the MLM space because no one has really been approaching MLM this way.
If I can become the category king in this space with MLM funnels, it can’t be a pitch fest.
Lynn: You’re breaking the old paradigm.
Steve: Some MLM’s really don’t like it.
Lynn: I imagine, because you were saying that MLM is broken.
Steve: Yeah, I believe that.
Lynn: And it’s been broken for a long time. We have the internet and new ways of reaching out to people yet they’re still saying, “Let’s call 100 more contacts from your phone.”
Steve: Why don’t we talk to those who are actually wanting to buy. People who want the solution.
Let’s just give a lot of value and then they’ll come buy from us instead of everyone else.
Lynn: So there are a lot of people out there that are looking for and wanting an opportunity, and you’re just opening the door so that they can find you?
If you compare brand new people who sell on the internet in general and brand new people who sell in the MLM space, there’s far more education that is much better suited to the general internet marketer.
EDUCATION IN MLM IS BROKEN
I started looking at what education is available in the MLM space and the quality of it.
So I went in and I started buying all of the top books, courses and CD’s in the MLM industry.
I started consuming them, and almost all of them have the same ideas…
“Simple things to say to people to get them to jump into your down-line”.
Why don’t we just skip all of that and talk to those who actually want the product and automate the interaction with them.
Then let’s elevate the quality of education so people can have a lot of stature in the MLM space.
Go buy all the top books, go see what they’re talking about. It’s kind of garbage.
It’s really, really old when you compare it to what is actually already working in other industries.
All I’ve been doing is taking this education and telling it to a new industry that’s never heard it before.
Lynn: Can you explain to me why you killed yourself?
Steve: So what Lynn’s referring to is, I say Steve killed Stephen.
In high school, I…
- Was 35% body fat (I was a big boy)
- Had a huge amount of shyness
- Had a very rough time speaking with anybody
I’d see an adult and literally walk the other way.
It was a near clinical fear of adults for a while there.
HOW MLM HAS CHANGED SINCE I WAS IN COLLEGE
I’m just going to say it… I was dumb.
I got kicked out of college my first semester because I got pretty much straight F’s and they told me to leave.
They made me wait four years to go back and reapply. I’m the least likely success story.
Stephen is a great guy. His natural state is ‘nice guy’.
It was no longer, “Hey, I’m not making any money because the opportunity I’m in is bad.”
What I realized is, “Hey, I’m not making any money because I’m a terrible delivery system of it.”
I don’t qualify for what the market is requiring for me to go out and be the person that sells and is aggressive to the right degree.
I just did this at Funnel Hacking Live. Something freaked me out and I started getting nervous in the negative sense (not the positive nervous).
I went to the speaker room, shut off all the lights and put on some pretty aggressive motivational videos.
There was 30 minutes till I had to get on stage.
I just did planks, sit ups and push ups because I was trying to bring Steve out.
That sounds schizophrenic… I promise it isn’t.
Steve’s a killer. Steve gets on stage and he cracks mics and break stages. He is the attractive character that his market needs him to be.
SECRET MLM HACKS STEVE VS STEPHEN
Lynn: You’re not dead all the time?
Steve: I’m not, no. It is a learned trait.
I was so scared for launching my podcast for the first time. I think I recorded 17 episodes before ever releasing it, because I was nervous.
Every single step of the way has been a self doctoring move.
Everyone asks, “How do you keep so much energy?” I don’t.
No one’s that way all the time. Everyone gets nervous.
Steve killed Stephen and it doesn’t feel fake… It’s very genuine. It’s just a new side of me that I started learning.
Lynn: You talk about getting uncomfortable every day.
Be uncomfortable every day, step out of your zone. Learn something new, do something you haven’t done before.
Steve: Yeah. Not all stress is negative.
There’s de-stress, which is destructive. That’s not good stress.
Then there’s eu-stress, as in euphoria. Eustress is really good for you. It’s like going to the gym and it’s good for your brain.
Doing something hard as early in the day as you possibly can is so good for you.
Lynn: Are you doing triathlons? I seem to recall that you’re doing something like that?
Steve: I’m about to get back into it. It’s been a solid year since I’ve really done anything like that.
I started signing up for some stuff so that I could hold my feet to the fire and get into it again.
Lynn: Is it kind of a balance thing?
Steve: Yeah, a little bit.
I think life balance is kind a facade.
It’s hard to define it so you don’t really know if you’ve reached it.
I feel like it’s a weird thing to compare ourselves to something that’s kind of unattainable.
HOW MLM HAS CHANGED WITH THE INTERNET
Lynn: Do you any parting words of wisdom for my listeners?
Steve: The MLM space is most easily sold when you couple it with the info product industry.
What I do is I create these products that teach ANY MLMer. I’m not pitching them at all. But they’re not free.
And that’s for a reason. It filters and brings people to me who have a different mentality.
If somebody can’t even spend a little bit of money for some MLM education, they’re not a good fit for my down-line.
I’m not trying to recruit everyone and their mom.
That’s totally the opposite of what most MLMs teach. I’m actually very picky on who I let in my down lines.
If you are having a hard time recruiting, one of the easiest things you can do is create something in the front and stop recruiting everybody.
I don’t get on the phone, I don’t go to hotels or malls, I don’t do any of this traditional MLM stuff.
Lynn: You don’t do meetings?
Steve: I don’t do any of that. None of it.
The only thing that I do is keep selling this front end program. It’s not really meant to make money.
Any money we make, we just dump it back in ads. The people who are buying it are basically funding the ads.
Most MLM don’t know how to drive ads. That program is louder than most MLM companies, which is crazy.
If they can spend $15 on ads, and I can spend $50, I’m going to crush them.
That front end thing is just meant to liquidate my ad cost and bring good people to me, who would be a great fit for my team.
RECRUITING IN MLM IS BROKEN
I NEVER approach someone. I make people apply. They go through an application process and we filter out another half of them easily.
Lynn: All the people that you’re recruiting are people that are ready to run, and they’re all using the internet to grow.
Steve: Yes. That’s what’s crazy.
I just hand off the same systems when they join my team. That’s what’s so mind blowing, because a funnel builder is what my profession is. I make good ones. When they come in, they get these professional funnels.
Steve: Yeah, BOOM!
When you flip the whole model on its head and stop doing, frankly, really old tactics, MLM becomes fun again.
The people on my down-line are my closers. They’re the ones who call the people who apply. I don’t even do that.
Then we automated our onboarding process, which is actually about launch in a week or two.
We automated all the onboarding which walks them through how to:
- Set up their back office
- Get ads
- Set up the funnels
- Take advantage of our teams bonuses
It takes them through their first 30 days in my downline. It’s super turnkey.
ONBOARDING IN MLM IS BROKEN
Lynn: Wow, that’s awesome. Steve also has an affiliate program for ClickFunnels.
Steve: If you’re watching or listening to this and you want to learn how to do this stuff on the internet, one of the easiest places to learn these principles is in affiliate marketing.
The model for affiliate marketing is the exact same model for MLM on the internet. If you go to affiliateoutrage.com, that’s the program.
Affiliateoutrage.com walks you through how to market.
Lynn: He’s got unbelievable training in there… UNBELIEVABLE.
Part of today’s challenge in MLM is knowing how to teach your downline all of the ‘stuff’, right?
Would you like me to help you teach your own downline five simple recruiting tips for free?
If so, go download the FREE MLM Masters Package by subscribing to my podcast at SecretMLMHacksRadio.com
The course is FREE and it’ll help explain to your team what I’m doing on, what you’re learning. It also gets sent straight to your inbox.
Just go download it at SecretMLMHacksRadio.com